Chastity Davis-Alphonse is a mixed heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation and married into the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Chastity is sole proprietor to her own multi-award-winning consulting business. She has worked with 100+ First Nation communities in BC and several well-known corporations, companies, not-for-profits, and Indigenous organizations. Chastity’s work is completed in the spirit of reconciliation and focuses on building knowledge and capacities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, organizations, communities, and governments.
Chastity’s approach is from an Indigenous women’s lens. She is on the leading edge of Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis Plus (IGBA+) in Canada working with the federal and provincial governments, Tsilhqot’in National Government, and several others to weave the Indigenous women’s lens into their daily practices including Impact Assessment processes, policies, and procedures. Chastity is creator and visionary of “Deyen – An Invitation to Transform” – one of the only online learning platforms in the world that centers the wisdom, knowledge, and lived experiences of the original Matriarchs of the lands often called Canada.
Chastity has a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communications, a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication, and a Diploma in Marketing Management & Professional Sales from BCIT. Chastity is also a certified yoga teacher in two modalities: Yin and Kundalini. She weaves the ancient practice and philosophy of yoga into her personal and professional life.
I come from Nanoose First Nation on Vancouver Island. I have many roots within the Coast Salish peoples and some that stretch as far as Ditidaht in the Nuu-chah-nulth tribes. I have been brought up with traditional knowledge from my village and surrounding nations. It is with these teachings that I have been able to put into practice the value of making sure that people can be taken care of in a way that is encompassing of their emotional and spiritual needs.
After some time, I attended the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in their chemical addictions worker program where I learned Indigenous modalities in healing with a focus on folks with chemical addictions. I have a history of working in sexual health within Indigenous communities both at the local and national levels In addition to my sexual health work, I have also explicitly worked in gay men’s Health/men who have sex with men (MSM) in which I bring my own lived experience is a queer Indigenous man in conjunction with my traditional upbringing. Having said this, it is also important to note that one of my biggest passions is working with our Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities and I hope to be able to specifically work with our Indigenous queer communities as I proceed on with this work.
It is with this experience I have found myself as a resolution health support worker / 2SLGBTQQIA+ liaison for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS). At the time of writing this bio, I have worked with the IRSSS for just under a year and have had the opportunity to work with many diverse communities whether it be within the education of our history or walking with folks in their healing journey. I have valued my time with the organization so far, and I look forward to working with them as we continue this work together. My role with the IRSSS is to provide workshops to help educate folks about our real history, to provide emotional and spiritual support, and to walk with our people in a good way. Thank you for looking into our organization. I raise my hands to you to lift your spirit.
Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Women’s Representative, Melissa Moses, upholds the MMIWG Calls for Justice. Her work empowers Indigenous women and girls and strengthens the collective safety and wellness of Indigenous communities. In addition to being UBCIC’s Women’s Representative, a role which is integral to promoting the equality and welfare of Indigenous women and girls, Melissa Moses is an accomplished Muay Thai and self-defense Instructor, and the first female Indigenous Muay Thai instructor to be certified by the Sport Authority of Thailand and the Naikhanomtom Association in both Canada and the U.S. She is the Founder, Owner and Chief Instructor of Nicola Valley Muay Thai and Self-Defense and she has devoted her life and channeled her wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion for protecting and empowerment Indigenous women and girls. Melissa’s goal is to conduct a series of self defense seminars in Indigenous communities and reserves across British Columbia. These self-defense seminars will create safe and inclusive spaces to teach Indigenous women and girls how to defend themselves in common scenarios of violence and assault allowing them to begin healing and find catharsis from trauma. She is both a Founding Facilitator and Core Faculty of the House of the Moon Organization. Melissa Moses is a Nlaka’pamuz, Syilx and Stl’atl’imx woman, born and raised in the heart of Nicola Valley and a pound member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band.
At the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists and social change makers to map an ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required to lead digital transformation in the 21st century. Denise leads a theory of change that aims to ensure Indigenous peoples are leading in Canada’s technology and innovation sector and in building new connected economies. Her purpose is to create space for Indigenous peoples to access the knowledge they carry from their ancestors and bring back community, balance and humanity to the design, integration and evolution of digital technologies and online spaces. The legacy of which is meant to advance Truth and Reconciliation both in physical and virtual worlds.
With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence real change and the advancement of Truth and Reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as a governor with the Urban Native Youth Association, MakeWay, Vancouver Foundation, Hollyhock Learning Institute, Innovate BC and Simon Fraser University as the Chair of university relations, and where she earned her MBA in 2015. Denise is an advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, a member of Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, BC’s Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and a mentor with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
Denise has been awarded Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 in 2018, Motherboards Human of Year in 2017, BC’s Most Influential Women STEM Stars in 2017, and Women in Technology’s Community Champion in 2016.
Harlan Pruden (nēhiyo/First Nations Cree), works with and for the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, Harlan is the Indigenous Knowledge Translation Lead at Chee Mamuk, an Indigenous health program at BC Centre for Disease Control and is also a co-founder of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, Turtle Island’s first research group or lab that exclusively focuses on Two-Spirit people, communities and/or experiences. Additionally, Harlan is the co-chair of the BCCDC’s COVID-19 Indigenous Knowledge Translation Working Group. As a Ph.D. student in the Faculty Health Sciences at SFU where Harlan explores how (and if) Two-Spirit is facilitator of health and wellbeing for Indigenous sexual and/or gender peoples and communities. Harlan is also the Managing Editor of the Two-Spirit Journal and an Advisory Member for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Gender and Health.
Before relocating to Vancouver in 2015, Harlan was co-founder and a Director of NYC community based organization, the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and was a President Obama appointee to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was (happily) fired and/or dismissed from PACHA by Mr. Trump via Fedex.)
Joyce Charleyboy Cooper
Born into very strong matriarchal knowledge, language and song-keeper, handed down orally has lead Joyce down a path of sharing and teaching. She has taken these gifts to guide her into the work she does and gave her an opportunity to become a leader for her community at very young age where Joyce served eight (8) years on Band Council for Tsi deldel.
Joyce raised three children and several foster children. When her children were ready to start high school, Joyce moved into Williams Lake and worked several years as an advocate for families with children in care at Denisiqi. After six years, she decided to find something a little easier to tackle. Joyce moved on to become a School District #27 Trustee. Being the only First Nation on the Board she took what was taught to her by her Elders and applied it to teach the world about the Tsilhqot’in people.
Today Joyce works as a Sexual Violence Coordinator for Yeqox Nilin and represents her community Tsi Deldel on the Tsilhqot’in Tsi’qi Dechen Jedilhtan. “Our ancestral knowledge guides our journey”
Martin Morberg is a Two-Spirit Northern Tutchone and Tlingit man from the remote community of Mayo, Yukon Territory. He is a member of the Na Cho Nyak Dun First Nation. “It’s my goal to empower the lives and voices of Two-Spirit and Indigenous people affected by HIV and addictions while contributing to the visibility of these communities.” Much of Martin’s work and activism is rooted in community and grassroots initiatives and he acknowledges that many Indigenous leaders and community members have guided and supported him in growing into the activist he is today. He hopes to pay this knowledge and support forward to Indigenous communities and Two-Spirit people and contribute to the meaningful work and reclamation of Two-Spirit culture and identity.
Chief Councillor Linda Innes
Lou Gagwelks Chief Linda Innes is currently in her first term as the first female Chief Councillor of the Gitxaala Nation. Chief Innes brings diplomas in Business Administration and Social Work to her position as Chief, and is completing a Bachelor of Arts, with a minor in Political Science. It is her hope to inspire all women to earn a higher education and to take their rightful place as equal participants in the community, workforce and society.
Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show
Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show, brings energy and expertise to every event she DJ’s and hosts. She brings professionalism and passion and remains true to her love for hip hop and R&B, incorporating beats to ensure you never want to leave the dance floor! With an outgoing personality and friendly demeanor, O Show is one of the easiest DJs to work with.
From Vancouver to Toronto, Las Vegas to Texas, DJ O Show keeps the dance floor packed, working with clients to put together unique packages and customized playlists for weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, corporate events, restaurant and club openings, charity fundraisers, youth conferences, and pride events in her city!
Coming from a diverse background, O Show is driven by her passion. She is Afro-Indigenous and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does.
DJ O Show has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and is a former member of Squamish Nation Council.
O Show has DJ’d the red carpet for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and was voted the official DJ for YES in Ottawa since 2012 and the official DJ for Gathering Our Voices for five years. She has hosted/MC’d/Played at numerous events, including Bowling for Big Brother’s Classic, Babes on Babes, Hershe and working for radio stations like Vancouver’s Virgin 94.5 and Washington’s Movin’ 92.5.
DJ O Show is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, a 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, and a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University.
Sharad Kharé is a storyteller, documentarian and the founder of Human Biography, a Vancouver-based content agency that produces original video content for the most incredible humans, brands, and organizations across the globe.
Sharad has documented people such as Dalai Lama, Meryl Streep, Arianna Huffington, Indra Nooyi, Chip Wilson, Susan Sarandon, Val Kilmer, Maye Musk, and Katy Perry, just to name a few, as well as many leaders and icons from all over the world.
Sharad holds a Masters degree in communications, where his academic research focused on personal and digital legacy. He is also the co-founder of “The Indigenous Collective” and has been a collaborator with the Indigenous community, directing and producing video projects that capture First Nations stories and culture.
Sharad serves on the board of Reconciliation Canada, Beedie Luminaries, and the BC Cancer Foundation.
Dr. Percy Lezard
Dr. Percy Lezard is a full status member of Penticton Indian Band. They continue to live as an invited guest on the lands of the Anishnabwe and Haudenosaunee peoples in upholding the dish with one spoon treaty, in Tkaronto.
Their activism, scholarship & research has expanded over thirty seven years in eliminating GBV against Indigenous women, Girls & 2SLGBTTQIA+ folks, promoting Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Research, & Community Indigenous Health. They were the writer for the April 2021 MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ Final Report for the 2 Spirit Sub Working Group, the first of its kind document that centers the experiences and knowledges of 2SLGBTQQIA+ survivors of GBV and embodying a #ForUsByUs approach.
Their activism & scholarship continues to have a global impact and will take them to the South Pacific to continue to work in collaboration with Indigenous Scholars in New Zealand and Australia whose people and communities experience GBV.
One of Turtle Island’s moral leaders, Gladys Radek (Gitxsan / Wet’suwet’en) has spent over 17 years of strongly advocating for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
After her niece Tamara Lynn Chipman went missing from the Highway of Tears (BC Highway 16) near Prince Rupert in 2005 she turned her grief into action. As a founding member of Walk 4 Justice she co-organized and walked across Canada five times between 2008 and 2013 to call for a national inquiry into MMIWG. The fifth cross-Canada walk was organized in 2013 under the Tears 4 Justice banner.
This call for action was heard in 2016 with the Federal government’s formation of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. From this inquiry through to its final report offers support to the families of MMIWG, and continues to do so, today. Her support has ensured that the missing and murdered and their families are not forgotten, driving her vehicle “the War Pony” overlaid with pictures of the missing and murdered with the blessing of their families. The War Pony has become a potent and recognized symbol of her advocacy throughout the country.
She is the visionary of the current MMIWG Commemoration, Memorial and Healing Totem Pole project on the Highway of Tears to honor the memory of those lost and provide a healing space for the families. September 4, 2020.
Today she continues to volunteer her voice for the families of the MMIWG on many platforms, on the ground, on line, national and international levels, films, documentaries and books, to push forward the many recommendations that have been put together by the families to end the vicious cycle of systemic racism, social injustices and all the root causes of Violence against our First Nations Women, Girls, Boys, Men and LGBTQ in Canada.
Stephanie Papik is an award-winning public servant, small business owner, artist, and parent. She was born and raised in Akaitcho Territory in the Northwest Territories and grew up in Lekwungen Territory and is of Inuit and European ancestry. She is the mother of two children, now in their twenties.
At the age of 24, Stephanie moved to Yellowknife, NWT, to learn more about her culture and strengthen family relations. She returned to Vancouver Island at the age of 32 and took an Executive Director position with the Saanich Native Support Program, providing one-on-one support for aboriginal families and youth in Tsartlip, Tseycum, Tsawout and Pauquachin. For the last 16 years, Stephanie has accomplished ground-breaking work in the BC public service, including six years at the helm of the Indigenous Youth Internship Program, which won the 2017 Public Sector BC Workplace Inclusion Award for Diverse and Inclusive Culture Champion while under her guidance.
In 2017, Stephanie was appointed to the Priorities and Accountability Office in the Office of the Premier of British Columbia. She then moved on to and has been with Emergency Management BC since October 2018 as the Director of Strategic Integration of Cultural Safety and Humility.
Stephanie is on a year-plus long secondment with the Moose Hide campaign to support the BC Public Service and Crown Agencies.
My name is Teyuhutakewku (Marsha) Oneida Nation of the Thames.
I am Turtle Clan I am a wife, mother, grandma and great grandma. I have loving hearing husband Max, 5 deaf beautiful children, 7 deaf beautiful grandchildren, 5 CODA beautiful grandchildren and 1 deaf beautiful great granddaughter, two new grand-babies in 2022.
I am a Residential School Survivor.
I am an elder, advocate, supportive, and land acknowledged for Thanksgiving Address. I am developing an Oneida Sign Language project.